As we all know by know protein is absolutely critical when it comes to gaining muscle.

But that doesn't mean the entirety of your intake should be limited to protein powders and grilled chicken. There are plenty of easy (and delicious) ways to add a little excitement and variety to your food while still earning that precious protein.

We asked Willow Jarosh, M.S., R.D., and Stephanie Clarke, M.S., R.D.—both registered dietitians and co-owners of C&J Nutrition in New York and Washington, D.C.—to share their top protein food picks (besides grilled chicken). Consider cooking some of them up in one of these 11 protein-focused recipes.